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The Basic Treaty (December 21, 1972)

The Basic Treaty [Grundlagenvertrag] aimed to establish good neighborly relations between both German states and granted de facto, albeit not de jure, legal recognition to the German Democratic Republic. The West German government stressed its intentions in a supplementary text that upheld the constitutionally anchored objective of reunification. Permanent legations, not embassies, were opened in both German states to underscore the special nature of relations.

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The High Contracting Parties,
Conscious of their responsibility for the preservation of peace,
Anxious to render a contribution to d├ętente and security in Europe.
Aware that the inviolability of frontiers and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all States in Europe within their present frontiers are a basic condition for peace,
Recognizing that therefore the two German States have to refrain from the threat or use of force in their relations,
Proceeding from the historical facts and without prejudice to the different view of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic on fundamental questions, including the national question,
Desirous to create the conditions for cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic for the benefit of the people in the two German States,
Have agreed as follows:


Article 1
The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic shall develop normal, good-neighbourly relations with each other on the basis of equal rights.

Article 2
The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic will be guided by the aims and principles laid down in the United Nations Charter, especially those of the sovereign equality of all States, respect for their independence, autonomy and territorial integrity, the right of self-determination, the protection of human rights, and non-discrimination.

Article 3
In conformity with the United Nations Charter, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic shall settle any disputes between them exclusively by peaceful means and refrain from the threat or use of force.
They reaffirm the inviolability now and in the future of the frontier existing between them and undertake fully to respect each other's territorial integrity.

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